Can I overwinter in a beehive by wild-shaping into a winter bee?

This is the bee statblock I am using. I am an 8th-level druid.

I think the following procedure works but I'm probably overlooking something:

  1. Get a whole bag of sugar.
  2. Stash kinda near hive.
  3. Wild shape -> winter bee
  4. I now "speak" bee. Give bee dance to sugar location I already know.
  5. Go with foragers.
  6. Come back laden with sugar. Get accepted into hive.
  7. Take short rest.
  8. Renew wildshape with regained wildshape use.
  9. Take long rest. Renew wildshape at 4 hours in.
  10. I should have 2 uses of wildshape, but will have to expend 1 immediately to remain wild-shaped as 8 hours have elapsed. Repeat 9 for 6 months.

Bonus: I haven't even stolen from the bees. They profited more by the bag of sugar than I can eat as a bee in several years.

Why do I want to do this? I don't want to waste my gold on winter provisions.

Is this possible by the rules as written?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Jun 14 '18 at 11:35

There are, well, a few things you are missing.

The Bee stat block you posted is a Homebrew.

You have tagged your question as . The fact that the creature you are trying to wild shape simply does not exist in the game is enough to make it impossible RAW, as Wild Shape explicitly states

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your action to magically assume the shape of a beast that you have seen before.

Obviously you never saw something that simply does not exist.

As a note for that: dandwiki is simply... Well, bad

Exactly for the reason you suffered there: it's not clear whether it's a homebrew (you need to check the section it is in) and many other problems. Check this question: Why does dandwiki have a poor reputation?

Even if that Bee block existed...

Nowhere the specific Winter Bee is stated, either. Even if it was, for it to be RAW, you would need the bees to

  • Like sugar.
  • Accept you because you gave them sugar.

Again, these would have to be stated in the text from the monster. Applying "this is how this creature behaves in the real world, so it should be how it behaves in my fictional world where fireballs and dragons exist" simply does not work.

You can't just repeat step 9

From the Long Rest

A character can’t benefit from more than one long rest in a 24-hour period, and a character must have at least 1 hit point at the start of the rest to gain its benefits.

You can, however, keep short resting to recover the Wild Shape.

This is actually a bad idea, even if it worked

While it might sound a good idea to not "spend gold on winter provisions", you are supposed to be an adventuring hero. Instead of spending a whole season killing monsters, gathering gold and getting renown, you spent it... doing essentially nothing.

Unless your DM for some reason wants to make the winter something very special, you should be able to adventure normally during winter in D&D. You would actually get way more money than you would spend.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Your second point is not so good. Yes dnd is fictional universe however, it behaves logically and creatures in it that are creatures from the real world act the same. About the sugar, so long as he made sugar water, no problem with the bees eating it, being a stranger? Liner bees Everett and take over honey bee hives all the time, so long as you angel right it's no problem \$\endgroup\$ – Garret Gang Jun 14 '18 at 21:29
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @GarretGang The question asks, explicitly, for RAW. RAW means that if it is not written, you can't assume it. Unless it is explicitly written in the fictional monster stat block that these facts are true, they are not. So, no, unless the text states that either they behave the same or describes how they behave, that's not true, RAW. \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Jun 15 '18 at 3:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your first point is wrong. There's no issue with asking for RAW interpretations of homebrew material, if the homebrew material is posted (as it is in this case). \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Jun 16 '18 at 7:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer It seemed for me that OP is a player, not the DM. If the answer contains a "up to DM approval", it's not exactly RAW for me any more - unless what's written is ambiguous. As a side note, the first point is exactly what made OP accept the answer, so it solved his problem :) \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Jun 16 '18 at 13:04

Long term, communication may be an issue

Mechanically, most of your steps work. At 8th level (and not before), if you are an Elf, you could conceivably stay in Wild Shape forever by taking frequent short rests and Trancing for exactly four hours (although you'd need to make sure that you had an available use of Wild Shape before you started your trance, or you would revert back to normal size during the Trance). As Hellsaint mentioned, you'd need to use short rests rather than repeating long ones, but otherwise you'd be able to stay a bee as long as you needed to.

But there is one large RAW (rules as written) hole in your plan: step 4:

4.) I now "speak" bee.

This is not stated explicitly in the rules. The closest the rules come to addressing this is when they say the following

your ability to speak or take any action that requires hands is limited to the capabilities of your beast form. (PHB, p. 67)

So you certainly would now be physically capable of secreting the pheromones and vibrating in the way that bees do to communicate (you could make smells and motions). But you wouldn't necessarily know what these secretions or vibrations meant, either when you encountered them or performed them. There is some support that, in some cases, you could learn a new forms languages since:

Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast, but you retain your alignment, personality, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. You also retain all of your skill and saving throw proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of the creature.

Debatably, a language could be considered a proficiency. So while a 10th level Moon Druid is Wild Shaped into an Earth Elemental, they might be able to speak and understand Terran, since Terran is a language listed in the Earth Elemental's stat block. But in the stat block provided for Bee (that you linked to) bees have no language proficiencies.

Initially, you could get around this by casting Speak With Animals before you transformed, but this would give you only 10 minutes of understanding and communicating. After that, when the bees in the colony attempt to communicate with you, you will not be able to reply or understand them (and at 8th level, you could not cast Speak With Animals again while Wild Shaped). It is difficult to say whether or not bees would tolerate a new bee that quickly stops responding to anything they say, and gives no chemical or physical indication that it is a member of this hive (although some of this chemical indication may simply be from the wax clinging to your body, it may also be from your pheromones). Things might not go well for you there.

A DM may rule that in Wild Form you are effectively under the effect of the Speak With Animals spell at all times for beasts of your type, but this could vary by DM and is not part of the rules as written.

In some animal societies, this might not be a large problem. If you were attempting to infiltrate a community of sheep, you might get by simply following the herd wherever it went, and failing to understand the herd's bleats would be unlikely to cause problems. With a society as violently defensive as bees, it is difficult to say how a non-communicative member will be treated.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Bees "speak" with other bees by dancing, and it's learnable with study even as a human, but otherwise good answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Joshua Jun 14 '18 at 15:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, sorry if I was unclear. That's what I meant by "vibrating in the way that bees do to communicate". \$\endgroup\$ – Gandalfmeansme Jun 14 '18 at 17:19

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